Webinar: Disinfection of ultrasound transducers - what practitioners need to know

21st Oct to 3rd Nov 2020

Educational Webinar, hosted by BMUS, sponsored by Nanosonics

Learning Objectives:

  • Analyse research outlining the infection risks from improper ultrasound probe disinfection
  • Learn to apply the Spaulding classification system, which is the basis of ultrasound probe disinfection guidelines in the UK and internationally
  • Identify that semi-critical and critical ultrasound probes minimally require high level disinfection with use of a sheath (sterile sheath for critical probes)
  • Explain the important role of the sonographer and ultrasound users in ultrasound probe infection prevention and patient safety


The rapid expansion of ultrasound imaging has brought great benefit to patients, however there are some patient safety challenges to navigate. Recent literature has documented infection risks and patient death related to improper ultrasound probe disinfection, with international surveys identifying wide variation in disinfection practices. This underscores the need for ultrasound users to review their current practices and ensure they align with best practice guidelines. This session will review the literature and the Spaulding classification system, which forms the basis of international probe disinfection guidelines and the SCoR/BMUS Guidelines for Professional Ultrasound Practice.

According to the framework, ultrasound probes that contact sterile tissue or the bloodstream in the procedure (‘critical probes’) preferably require sterilization, or high level disinfection and a sterile sheath. Probes that contact mucous membranes or non-intact skin (‘semi-critical probes’) require high level disinfection with use of a sheath. By implementing this knowledge and guidance, ultrasound users can play a critical role in protecting their patients from risk of infection.

Susan Campbell Westerway
Ad Assoc Professor, AMS PhD (Medicine) MAppSc (Research) DMU BASc (NMT) Churchill Fellow

Sue was ASUM President 2014-2016 and has been a WFUMB Councilor since 2015. She is Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Dentistry & Health Sciences at Charles Sturt University in NSW Australia and was formerly on the Health Expert Standing Panel for the Australian Government.

Sue has been involved in medical ultrasound since 1975, when she worked on Australia’s first commercial grey scale system and has had the privilege of being associated with some of the industries earliest luminaries. In 1981 Sue was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study echocardiography at major heart institutions in the USA & London and on her return to Australia helped implement scanning practice protocols and standards. With a major interest in obstetrics, her research work has included fetal growth / ethnicity & fetal biometry and in 2000 she created the fetal biometry charts for an Australian population. Sue is a tutor & examiner for many Australian & international universities & colleges, a traveling educator for international aid projects, author of numerous journal articles & has an extensive national & international speaking program.

Since 2014 Sue & her research partner, Dr Jocelyne Basseal, a microbiologist, have become worldwide advocates for infection control in clinical ultrasound. They have been invited speakers at many international congresses and published extensively in this important field.

Click here to register

The webinar will be uploaded at 7pm on Wednesday 21st October and you will have two weeks to view. You will then receive an email with joining instructions the day before the Webinar goes on the website.

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